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Well, after last week’s epic edition of the Herald I think we could all use a Wagner Week as a palette cleanser. I love the kids’ letters. Children are terrific at providing plain details about setting. Kids are straight forward and don’t insinuate or hint. I often learn much more about some people’s day-to-day existences in the time period from the kids’ writings than I learn from the adults. And this letter mentions a favorite character of mine: Cousin Emma! She is older than the other children and her years long search for a man is of much interest to all of them. She got done so wrong with this ball situation!
Water Valley, Miss
Nov 14, 1998
As I have not written you since you went off I thought I would write to you. Tomorrow is my birthday. I will be eleven years old. George’s birthday is with mine. He will be seven. I would like to see you. How are you getting along now? George is not learning to read but he is learning to write and make his figures.
There is to be a baptism at the Baptist Church tonight. We are all going to it. Mr. Hudson is the preacher of the Baptist Church. Gertie is writing to you too. Jessie and Florence are writing.
I wore my new cloak this morning. I like it very much. Carrie is in the room with Jessie and Gertie is in the room with me. Today is Sunday. We go to school every day. I have not missed a day yet. Miss Brown is our singing teachers at school. We take singing lessons. The fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth grades takes them.
Miss Brown sent word up here that she was coming up here some night before long and Cousin Emma asked her when she was coming and she said she did not know. But for her to get ready to go to a ball. That she would be up here with two young gentlemen and take her. So Cousin Emma got ready to go and waited until eleven o’clock but nobody came. So then the next day Cousin Emma sent word to Miss Brown that she had a splendid time at the ball. But Miss Brown said that Jessie and Carrie misunderstood her, that she said that she saw Emma’s name opposite Mr. Tompsons. And that they were very much surprised when they saw Mr. Tompson walk in with another lady. So she did not get to go to the ball after all.
Yesterday we all went hickory nut hunting and got over six hundred hickory nuts. Gertie did not want to go. She went over to Florence’s house instead.
I climbed the tree. All the boys in Aunt Sis’s family are Presbyterians. And all the girls are Baptists. Carrie’s middle name is May and Gertie’s middle name is Ella; she’s named after Aunt Ella. Gerties has no sense about sentences. That is, she does not know how to diagram them.
As it is suppertime and I am going to church I will close. Write soon with much love,